Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction: Evaluation of a Community-Based Social Enterprise

Dickins, Kevin (2013) Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction: Evaluation of a Community-Based Social Enterprise. In: CU Expo 2013, June 12-15, 2013, Corner Brook, NL, Canada. (Submitted)

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Our Community-University Research Alliance centres on understanding the lived actualities of those experiencing poverty, mental illness, and social inclusion/exclusion. The ultimate goal of our research is to find new ways to promote meaningful and sustainable community-based social inclusion and capacity building for those stigmatized by poverty and mental illness. Social enterprises can be a strategy to provide employment to address both poverty and social inclusion. Social enterprises are “business ventures operated by non-profits. They sell goods or provide services in the market for the purpose of creating a blended return on investment, both financial and social. Their profits are returned to the business or to a social purpose, rather than to shareholders” (Enterprising Nonprofits). Part of our CURA research involves working closely with one of our community partners, WOTCH (Western Ontario Therapeutic Community Hostel) Community Mental Health Services to evaluate a social enterprise project. Up to 50 participants will be recruited through collaboration with the WOTCH Social Enterprise Project, and will be interviewed when they are hired into the social enterprise and then 6 months and 12 months after their initial employment. This presentation will focus specifically on “Impact Junk Solutions”—one of WOTCH’s social enterprise business initiatives. Impact Junk Solutions, launched in the spring of 2012, is a professional junk removal service which employs qualified individuals who are living with a serious mental illness. The aim of Impact Junk Solutions is to generate a viable and sustainable business within the community, and to provide increased job skills/training and experience for their employees. We will provide some of the emerging results of this CURA/WOTCH collaborative evaluation, and the ways in which it has addressed issues of poverty, reduced stigma, and promoted meaningful social inclusion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Item ID: 1742
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013
Date: 31 May 2013
Date Type: Submission
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